The Victorian Environmental Protection Authority has welcomed the new Environment Protection Act 2017, which came into force 1 July.
The new act will empower the EPA with:
- a range of new measures to actively prevent pollution, improving the state’s environment, as well as peoples’ health and wellbeing;
- and stronger powers and the ability to issue tougher penalties for environmental offences.
The act will give Victoria stronger and updated environment protection laws. The act will also require businesses to be more proactive regarding activities that may potentially pose a risk to the environment.
If businesses and organisations do not, they may receive one of the many updated fines as part of the act.
- doubling the maximum penalty for corporations that commit the most serious breaches to 20,000 penalty units ($3.6 million);
• doubling the maximum penalty for corporations that commit illegal dumping to 10,000 penalty units ($1.8 million); and
• increasing the maximum penalty for individuals breaching the law by 50 per cent to 4,000 penalty units ($0.7 million).
Lee Miezis, Victorian EPA CEO, said the act will help to prevent substantial damage to Victoria’s environment.
“These new powers will not only protect the environment, but they will also protect people’s health by cracking down on pollution and preventing the mishandling of toxic material,” Miezis said.
The new act follows a Victorian Government-led public enquiry into EPA, which was completed over 10 months.